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Reference can mean:

  • An item belonging to the library reference collection, or the collection itself
  • A short form of the name for a library reference department (although, like the current trend of removing "library" from library school and librarian degree names, this term is being replaced by things such as "Research and Instructional Services")
  • A library reference desk (as above, now sometimes called the "Information Desk" or something else) or the services available there
  • A reference interview, or, a service transaction with a reference librarian. Significant education and training is required to conduct a reference interview properly.
  • A bibliographic citation
  • A simple semantic denotation (e.g., "Bodleian Library" refers to the main research library of the University of Oxford).
  • A personal recommendation, usually given in nomination of another individual (e.g., acting as or providing a job reference)

This is a disambiguation page — an entry which lists definitions that share the same title.